The abortion pill unleashes a judicial and political battle in the United States: what is being discussed?

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A Texas federal judge delivered another resounding victory to abortion opponents in the United States on Friday, withdrawing the marketing authorization for the abortion pill mifepristone, approved more than two decades ago and used by hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.

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But around the same time, another federal judge in Washington ruled otherwise, saying the pill must be available in at least 12 states.

Thus the legal battle around abortion, which has divided the country for decades and which has had several twists in recent months, is exacerbated.

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The reaction of the White House

Joe Biden’s Democratic administration quickly came out to reiterate its stance on this thorny issue.

Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling won’t take immediate effect because it gave the government time to appealwhich the Justice Department already announced this Friday it will do.

A group of women marches in defense of abortion rights in front of the Federal Court in Amarillo, Texas, United States.  Photo: AP

A group of women marches in defense of abortion rights in front of the Federal Court in Amarillo, Texas, United States. Photo: AP

“My administration will oppose this decision”, President Biden anticipated in a statement released by the White House.

If this ruling is confirmed, every regulated drug will be vulnerable to “this kind of ideological and political attacks,” added the Democratic president.

Earlier, Attorney General and Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Biden government “strongly disagrees with the decision” of the court, and that the ruling “contrasts with the opinion of FDA experts (l federal agency for drug decision-making, ed), handed down more than two decades ago, that mifepristone is safe and effective.

For US Vice President Kamala Harris, this “unprecedented decision today threatens the rights of women in the country to make decisions about their health and their ability to access the medicines prescribed by their doctors”.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has announced that he will appeal against the ban on the use of the abortion pill.  Photo: AP

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has announced that he will appeal against the ban on the use of the abortion pill. Photo: AP

court war

The court fight over the country’s widely used pill mifepristone has grown more heated since the US Supreme Court struck down federal abortion rights in a ruling that sparked huge controversy and strong protests last year .

The abortion pill was at the center of two opposing rulings handed down this Friday by two federal courts.

The first was handed down by a Texas federal judge, who withdrew the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for the abortion pill more than 20 years ago, and who has a seven-day window to appeal. to the Justice Department.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s decision, Known for his conservative stance, should be applied throughout the country.

One of his colleagues in Washington state, however, considered that the marketing authorization for mifepristone (RU 486) he will not be able to retire in at least 12 democratic states.

Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.  Photo: AP

Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk. Photo: AP

Here are some keys to the abortion pill and its usage.


According to the Guttmacher Institute, the pill accounted for more than half (53%) of the 930,160 abortions recorded in 2020 by this organization that researches public order and reproductive health in the United States.

In 2008 the figure was 17% and in 2017 it was 39%.

Yes, OK the number of so-called medical abortions has skyrocketed in the United States in recent years, it is still not as widespread as in several European countries.

In France, for example, abortions of this type accounted for 70% of the total in 2020.

different pills

The abortion pill is different to the “morning after”, which women can use after having sex to prevent pregnancy.

The abortion pill is taken to induce an abortion once the woman confirms that she is pregnant.

In fact, it involves more than one pill. The first, mifepristone, also known as RU 486, interrupts the normal continuation of pregnancy by blocking the production of the hormone progesterone.

Another drug, misoprostol, is taken 48 hours later and causes cramping, bleeding, and emptying of the uterus.

abortion pills they can be used at home and do not require medical assistance.

The FDA gave the green light to mifepristone and misoprostol in 2000.

It is approved for use up to the 10th week of pregnancy, after which a woman would have to have an abortion using other methods, such as vacuum aspiration.

The results

The average cost of abortion medication at Planned Parenthood is $580, but it can cost more than $800.

Use of the abortion pill for the specified period of time considered safe and effective by medical experts.

Pregnancies are successfully terminated in over 95 percent of cases using the pill, according to studies.

Serious complications, such as excessive bleeding, fever, infection or allergic reaction, requiring medical attention, are rare.

The abortion pill doesn’t work for ectopic pregnancies, in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, which account for about 2% of all pregnancies.

At least 13 US states have banned most abortionsincluding those requiring medication, as the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion in June.

Despite the bans, several organizations have rallied to provide abortion pills to women in states where abortion is restricted.

The extent of these efforts is difficult to assess.

In states where abortion is legal, the FDA recently eased restrictions on mifepristone, allowing it to be shipped with a prescription or sold directly to pharmacies like any other drug.

Source: AFP

Source: Clarin

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